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Physics & Engineering

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Use background sources, such as encyclopedias, textbooks, and Wikipedia, to:

  • get an overview of topic - what people are currently researching/thinking about in an area
  • find new key words to help you search more effectively
  • track down the citations used in the background source to find primary, scholarly literature on the topic

DO NOT CITE BACKGROUND SOURCES IN YOUR PAPERS!